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Tangolates (also known in Buenos Aires as Tango-Pilates and Pilates-Tango), involves body exercises that draw on characteristics from Tango dancing and Pilates. It utilizes a partner method rather than individual exercises and incorporates aerobic and cardio elements. Tangolates is usually performed on a specially designed apparatus, on a mat, or on a Pilates apparatus.
Tangolates originated in 2004 in a public hospital for patients with motor disorders. In order to help patients with their workouts, each one was coupled with an instructor in partner exercises.
In order to assess the effects of these exercises on patients, a preliminary test of efficacy was conducted at the Tamara Di Tella’s Pilates Room. The results of this research were presented at the 10th International Congress of Internal Medicine, held on 24-27 August 2004, in Buenos Aires.
Patients were convoked for 325 sessions, over a period of three months. Afterwards, patients asserted that the exercises helped them “not only to move better but also to feel better”. Their evaluations led to the conclusion that Tangolates partner exercises help patients improve, not only their movement but also their quality of life.
According to Di Tella, the fact that Tangolates requires a rapport between two people is a very interesting subject of research. Partner work may help stimulate the brain and could become an alternate pathway to successful movement. “It is that internal ignition that may just work for some brain disorder patients”, says Di Tella. Indeed, Tango’s strong and focused beat and the fact that it is done in close coordination with a partner is an excellent stimulus to initiate movement. “Tango stimulates cooperation and creates bond like no other dance, and this is an extraordinary motivator for some patients”, says Di Tella.
Tangolates combines the coordination and core stability that is inherent to Pilates with the cardio or aerobic element of Tango.
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